Let's start this week off with a single review for the latest issue of Wolverine, the final part of the thus far fantastic “Wolverine's Revenge!” storyline. To be honest with you, after the first few issues of this storyline, I'm expecting near perfection here... Here's hoping that's what I get.
Summary: We get started with the members of the Red Right Hand, with Wolverine right outside their door, taking a drink of poisoned wine while shouting, “To Revenge!”. The old leader of the RRH doesn't yet take a drink, watching his allies fall while telling them to die with a smile. As he looks around at the corpses, the old man sees that the youngest member of the RRH hadn't yet taken the drink, and when asked why, the boy tells him that he wanted to see Wolverine's face before he perished. With that, the old man tells the boy to make sure that he takes the drink before Wolverine enters the room, before drinking up himself, falling to the floor dead. As for the boy, he thinks back to what led him to join the RRH to begin with. It turns out the boy was raised by a single mother who managed to work her way through nursing school. The boy's mother was proud to be able to give her son a better life, and went to work for SHIELD. During the time Wolverine was possessed by the Hand(in the fantastic “Enemy of the State” storyline), Wolverine murdered the boy's mother while she was trying to tend to his wounds, leaving the boy an orphan. After bouncing around foster homes, the leader of the RRH(the old man) takes the boy in and makes him a member of the RRH. With the flashback over with, Wolverine charges into the RRH's inner sanctum and finds no super-villains to battle, simply a sea of dead bodies, including the boy. Wolvie is ready to leave the room when a video screen lights up and the old man from the RRH says hello to Wolvie. With that, he explains why they sent Wolvie to Hell(as revenge for Wolvie killing their family members and loved ones), leaving Wolvie a file of all that the RRH lost to Wolvie's murderous life. From there, the old man plays a video of Wolvie killing the 5 guardians the RRH had stationed in their base, telling Wolvie that they never expected the five guardians to defeat Wolvie, since the plan all along was for Wolvie to kill the five guardians. With that, the old man tells Wolvie to look at the other file on the table, and Wolvie realizes that the five guardians he killed were none other than various children he had left around the world(!!!). With that, the old man tells Wolvie that he now knows what it was like to feel the loss the RRH had felt, before welcoming Wolvie to the club and ending the video. Wolvie is completely devastated by this turn of events, and the boy from earlier, who was still clinging to life, does get to see the look on Wolvie's face, and is quite pleased to see the pain wracking Wolvie's before dying himself. From there, the members of the RRH head to Hell and meet up with the family members they had lost to Wolverine... All except for the boy, whose mother was nowhere in sight. This issue ends with Wolvie collapsing to the floor as the enormity of what he did finally sets in.
Thoughts: Usually I'll agonize over whether of not I should give a comic book a perfect score, or a 9 1/2... It's VERY rare for me to close a comic book and know right away that it was indeed, a perfect comic. This was one of those rare occasions. Once I finished this book, I knew I'd read something special. The reveal that those five guardians were actually a few of the bastards Wolvie left all over the planet during his long life? Absolutely brilliant. The boy's story, about how Wolvie killed his mother, a nurse for SHIELD, thus tying this story into my previous favorite Wolverine storyline? Fantastic. Jason Aaron REALLY outdid himself here. This is a story that I can see myself talking to people about in the same breath as Enemy of the State and Agent of SHIELD. As a matter of fact, this may just be my favorite Wolverine story ever, and I've read A LOT of Wolverine comics over the course of my life. The RRH were absolutely magnificent antagonists to Wolvie(and notice I didn't call them villains), as they were people with legitimate gripes against Wolvie. And not the normal, “Wolvie stopped me from robbing a bank, so now I have to get even with him!” gripes, but real gripes. These people were all collateral damage to the murders Wolvie has wreaked throughout his life. They personally did NOTHING to him, but suffered due to the fact that he had killed their loved ones. Out of all the RRH members profiles we've read about these past few issues, the boy's story was probably the best in showing the hell Wolverine has put people through... Yes, some of the family members of the RRH members that Wolvie killed were into some shady dealings, but the boy's mother was a nurse. Her ONLY misstep was trying to help Wolverine, and what does she get for that? Stabbed through the chest, leaving her only child an orphan. I could go on and on about this comic, but there's really nothing more to say. I'm sure some people won't enjoy this storyline as I did, it didn't have Wolvie battling a member of his rogue's gallery or any spectacular battle scenes or anything like that, it just had a bunch of people who wanted revenge on Wolvie, gaining that revenge and leaving Wolvie with NOTHING to do about it. Awesome stuff.
Score: 10 out of 10.Game, set and match for the Red Right Hand.